Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?

Bathroom A bathroom isn’t an ideal place for a washing machine. For a start, if the bathroom is upstairs and the washing machine flooded it could cause a lot of damage to the ceiling in the room below.

Electrical-safety A bathroom also tends to be steamy and potentially damp. That is never good for electronics. However, it is OK to have a washing machine installed in a bathroom as long as strict rules are adhered to. These rules are covered under your local authority regulations and need to be followed exactly.

The main criteria is that a person in the bath or shower (and presumably even on the toilet) should NOT be able to touch the washing machine. The washing machine should also be plugged in outside the bathroom and protected by an RCD.

If you must install a washing machine in a bathroom, seek out and consult the official regulations. I can’t guarantee there have not been any changes to the regulations since writing this article. Your local council will have them. Here’s a site you can use to find your local council authority

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13 thoughts on “Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?”

  1. A standard 13 amp socket can be installed in a bathroom, if certain criteria is met.

    1. the socket must be 3mtrs horizontally from the edge of the bath or shower tray.
    2. it must be 30 milliamp RCD protected.

    Personally I would not fix a washing machine in the bathroom, it is just not worth the risk.

    I am an electrician!

  2. Australia & NZ standards permit laundry equipment in bathroom. My home in Sydney has both a washer & drier located immediately next to my bath & shower, which are seperated by a glass shower screen. The power points are located high on the wall behind the washer so they are difficult to reach from the bath, but nowhere near 3 meters away. The units are simply plugged in to the power points and not wired in. Never heard of anyone being electrocuted with this setup down under.

  3. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Alan. If they are separated by the glass shower screen that should stop anyone being able to touch them from the bath. If not they are potentially lethal for anyone touching them from the bath if they became unearthed and an insulation fault occurred.

  4. Here in Argentina there is a socket above the sink in the bano,on the adjacent wall as the sink is in a corner.Thus allowing you to plug in your hair dryer etc while you wash one hand and dry hair at the same time.Its a new build apartment.I find it a bit odd,not to say dangerous,as I am from England where things are over regulated to the point of manic.

  5. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Dani. Yes that does sound unusual. I’ve just checked and the mains voltage in Argentina is 220 V which is very similar to England. In England you can only really plug shavers in at the bathroom. However, you could plug any appliance in if you fitted it with the plug that goes into the special bathroom socket. If your bathroom sockets are only meant for shavers then they should be a different socket to the ones in the rest of the house like they are in the UK.

  6. Guys…everywhere in the world but UK baths have sockets and white goods…in UK baths have extensions sockets…far more dangerous in my opinion…deaths for electrocution are incredibly rare…never heard of anybody…my personal opinion? Align regulation to rest of Europe and allow sockets in bathrooms.

  7. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello De. I’m not 100% sure but in the US (at least) the voltage is 110 v compared to our 230 v. There might be more chance of electrocution with 230 v. Also I wonder if RCD boards are standard in some other countries whereas they aren’t fitted in millions of UK houses. But to be honest, a bathroom is just not a good place for a washing machine. I’m sure some people may have no other space, but in the UK it is highly unusual for there to be even enough room for a washing machine.

  8. We have a washing machine and a tumble dryer in our toilet/shower room, at the moment both are hardwired, is this necessary to get an electric test certificate ?
    It would make life so much easier if they were plug in.
    We are in England

  9. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Ken. As far as I’m aware the main rules are that they should be plugged in outside the room and you should not be able to touch an appliance from the shower. They should also be protected by an RCD, which if a modern fuse board that trips and can be reset is fitted in the house they should be.

  10. Jumping on this thread sorry, as i have the idea to make space in my kitchen by moving the washing machine into the bathroom plus most the time my laundry is laying around the kitchen and living room when i actual change in bedroom and bathroom so ideal place to chuck your washing straight in and then straight out (i don’t line dry it’s an all in one tumble dryer) currently i have a 100cm kitchen cupboard under my sink with a kitchen worktop (bigger than your standard bathroom furniture) from the bath you could stretch over and touch these doors i have a shower in the bath with a shower screen running half the length of the bath, my idea was to replace the 100cm cupboard with a 50cm and put the washing machine where the other half of the cupboard was, it’s an integrated machine so effectively it’s going to be like being put in a cupboard, and i was thinking an IP66 rcd socket at the bottom of the remaining 50cm cupboard or behind the washing machine, house has recently been rewired and i have rcd protection at the dis board…
    The socket could be picked up from the existing socket in the bedroom on the otherside of the wall directly behind where it would be mounted.
    Over engineered the bathroom extract fan to so it never gets damp or fills up with steam.
    In the UK this is.
    Thoughts on this?

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